Signal app gets new features that puts it up against Telegram

Signal release chat feature
(Image credit: Signal)

What you need to know

  • Signal's new release chat feature allows you to check Signal's app change logs during an update. 
  • There's a new bubble icon next to a message in the conversations. 
  • It allows you to check the replies that a message receives in a conversation. 

Amidst the plethora of messaging platforms, Signal is one of the private and secured communication apps. It supports individual talks, group chats, and calling. Signal introduced two new capabilities for Android users on Thursday. These include a new release chat function and a speech bubble icon in conversations.

Signal release chat is a new feature that sits next to your conversations within the app. Its primary use case is to bring all the latest updates and changelogs of every version of the new app update — next to some new feature announcements. Signal tells the release chat would be on mute by default for users on Android phones

And, it's up to users whether they would like to opt-in for notifications. For instance, if they are not concerned about every update or improvement that Signal rolls out, they can keep it mute. Users can even block the app if they intend not to see the release chat altogether.

If that's not the case, they can send 'Hi' to the release chat for all new updates regarding the Signal app.

The new release chat isn't new for messaging platforms. Signal's competitor Telegram has had it for quite a while now. Apart from the announcements and updates, this feature on Telegram also enables receiving a verification code, which usually shows up while setting up the app on a new device like a desktop or laptop, for instance. Likewise, WhatsApp also uses its 'Status' feature to announce new features.

The release chat can be quite a handy feature for consumers who usually wouldn't check every app update description in the Google Play Store during its release. It is always good to see what a new changelog of an app update brings to the table.

The other nifty feature, the speech bubble icon, is potentially utilized to check replies a particular message got right within the conversation. Imagine you were having a movie night with friends/family in a group and wanted to order pizza.

There naturally would be several options from the members who would reply to the message. And, it gets kind of hard to keep track of all the replies. It eventually might get lost if other irrelevant messages come from the members.

That's where the new speech bubble icon comes into play, suggests Telegram in its Twitter post. If you're the person who asked for the pizza preference, hitting the new bubble icon would open a thread full of replies you received. It makes it easier to track them, like under-order toppings, for example.

It's always good to see new features coming to Signal, as it happens to be one of the best messaging apps for Android. It's an all-inclusive app that offers privacy and isn't owned by any enormous social media company. Thus, it assures no data is collected from the people who use it, and the best part, it's free to use with no subscription models.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.